Imparting a sense of giving back to the community is an important aspect of raising children. Volunteering is a great way to get kids involved in how they can make a difference to causes that mater in their lives and within their neighborhoods.
According to the United Way, volunteering benefits children by:
• Enhancing development — Volunteering can enhance a child’s psychological, social and intellectual development. Volunteering increases self-esteem, responsibility and an interest in learning, and helps children develop new social skills. It also provides opportunities to apply newly learned material.
• Promoting a healthy lifestyle and choices — Children who volunteer are less likely to become involved in at-risk behaviors.
• Teaching social responsibility — Volunteering helps children develop empathy and learn that one person can make a difference.
• Creating a lifelong ethic of service — Individuals who volunteer as a child or who observed their parents volunteering have a much higher probability of volunteering in their adult years.
• Improving the community — Volunteer activities are essential for advancing the common good, and children can be part of the change.
The Marin Humane Society's mission is to improve the lives of animals and people through advocacy, education and support. MHS offers a number of ways in which children can volunteer. This not only helps the MHS and its furry inhabitants but also teaches children about what it means to respect and care for animals.
- As part of a global youth community service program started by Jane Goodall, the Marin Humane Society's Junior and Senior Roots & Shoots Club works on projects to help animals and the environment in Marin County and beyond. The Animal Care Club is designed for grades 5 through 12, introducing them to general animal care concepts.
- 1st through 12th-graders learn all about animal care, handling and welfare though engaging and informative games, crafts and animal encounters at the MHS Summer Camp.
- Kids can also earn community service credit for school by doing their own project, like collecting items for the shelter from the MHS wish list or organizing a small fundraising event, bake sale, car wash, etc. and donate the funds to help MHS animals.
- The Marin Humane Society also offers tours and merit badge-earning opportunities for Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, including a chance for the kids to make something for the animals like cat toys or dog treats.
MHS just kicked off a poster contest for local 1st through 8th graders. Submissions are due by April 15. Finalists will have their artwork displayed at the shelter, with the grand prize winner’s artwork featured on this year’s camp T-shirt. For more information about volunteer opportunities for kids or the poster contest, go to MarinHumaneSociety.org.
Marin Humane Society
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato, CA 94949
Phone 415.883.4621 | http://www.marinhumanesociety.org
Article excerpt from Marin Humane society, author Lisa Bloch.